The Stein Collection

View the V&A API .json response

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Stein, Aurel, Sir. Innermost Asia; Detailed report of explorations in Central Asia, Kan-Su and Eastern Iran, 4 vols (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1928), vol. I, p. 251.
collection_code
EAS
credit
Stein Textile Loan Collection. On loan from the Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India. Copyright: Government of India.
date_end
date_start
date_text
360 BC - 50 BC (made)
descriptive_line
Bundle of miscellaneous textile fragments.
dimensions
Diameter: 40 cm bundle, approx.
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
Loulan was once an important garrison town which lay between the Pei shan and Taklamakan deserts on the Silk Road. The city was also a centre of Buddhist worship. When Sven Hedin explored the site in 1900, he discovered remains of a stupa, reliefs depicting Buddhas among lotuses, and statues of deities. This strategically important city is mentioned in Chinese records for the first time in 176 BC with the conquest by the Xiongnu, but the area fell under Chinese control around 100 BC. Located in the middle of the Silk Road, Loulan had contacts with many cultures, represented by hundreds of documents in Chinese, Indian Kharosthi, and Sogdian scripts which were unearthed by Hedin and Stein. A woollen cloth, which Stein found in a tomb, depicted the head of Hermes and his caduceus, or staff, in the classical style of western Asia. He also unearthed a number of mummies with feathered felt caps and arrow shafts by their sides; which indicated that a community of herdsmen and hunters had inhabited the region long before various imperial conquests. Loulan flourished until the fourth century AD, when it was abandoned, due to the desiccation of a nearby lake, Lop Nor. The V&A holds, on loan, a large number of textiles from Loulan, including cotton, wool and figured silks, carpet and tapestry fragments.
historical_significance
history_note
According to Stein bundle as found.
id
61557
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T23:18:19.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T23:18:19.000Z
latitude
42.184158
location
In Storage
longitude
84.964111
marks
materials
plant fibre, silk
materials_techniques
Plain woven silk and unidentified plant fibre
museum_number
LOAN:STEIN.153
museum_number_token
loanstein153
object_number
O92700
object_type
Fragments
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Bundle of plain woven textiles including pieces of silk in blue, red and yellow respectively and unidentified plant fibre.
place
Loulan
primary_image_id
production_note
Excavated from, or found near, grave-pits of Loulan cemetery. Radiocarbon date of May 2006.
production_type
public_access_description
This bundle of textile fragments includes some silk pieces and some of an unidentified fibre. It is unclear what any of the fragments may have been used for. The bundle was recovered from the site of Loulan. Loulan is remarkable for the carved wooden capitals, beams and balustrades that indicate clear affinities with western Classical decoration that filtered through Iran and Northwest India. The site is part of an area now referred to as the Silk Road, a series of overland trade routes that crossed Asia, from China to Europe. The most notable item traded was silk. Camels and horses were used as pack animals and merchants passed their goods from oasis to oasis. The Silk Road was also important for the exchange of ideas – while silk textiles travelled west from China, Buddhism entered China from India in this way. These fragments were brought back from Central Asia by the explorer and archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862–1943). The Victoria and Albert Museum has around 700 ancient and medieval textiles recovered by Stein at the beginning of the twentieth century. The textiles range in date from the second century BC to the twelfth century AD. Some are silk while others are made from the wool of a variety of different animals.
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
slug
the-stein-collection-fragments-unknown
sys_updated
2014-07-31T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
plain weave
title
The Stein Collection
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
-50
year_start
-360